Good posture is not just good for your appearance; it affects your general health as well. Postural correction may be necessary in patients who have had a neurological dysfunction, but it may also be helpful for persons who do not have a clinical complaint. Poor posture can contribute to breathing problems, back, neck and shoulder pain, fatigue, indigestion and sleep problems. In other instances, poor posture may be the result of pain, for which the person is trying to compensate. Physiotherapists are very concerned about the posture of their patients, as it can make a huge difference in a person’s recovery.
Correct posture allows you to keep the head in midline, bear weight, weight shift in all directions and have proper balance. You are guided in exercises and imagery that will help you keep your head, neck and spine in correct alignment. Abnormal postures will be addressed with a number of techniques to improve posture. In some instances where muscle tone is compromised as a result of illness, such as Parkinson’s or stroke, we may use bolsters, pillows or wedges to stretch the muscles and aid in posture correction. Taping is another means of correcting posture. Taping the body in the correct postural position makes it difficult for the person to deviate.
Poor posture is usually accompanied by pain, therefore we will address this first with either ice, heat or electrical stimulation. Trigger point therapy to get rid of trigger points has been proven helpful in relieving pain and relaxing muscles. The individual is taught a series of exercises to progressively the muscles and aid in correcting posture. Most see results in fewer than 10 sessions.
Yoga is also being used by therapists as a means of correcting posture. Restorative yoga focuses on breathing efficiently which helps the patient to relax and this in itself reduces muscle tension. Yoga stretches also help to elongate muscles, which can facilitate the restructuring of muscle tissue. By learning to hold the poses, the individual begins to correct his/her own posture. Yoga also helps to reduce pain, another step toward improved posture.
Poor ergonomics can also contribute to poor posture which in turn can contribute to some of the problems listed above. We can assist with the design of your home or office to make it more efficient and less challenging to your health. In most cases only simple adjustments may be required.